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Fx Bricks (Michael Gale) announces Fx Track system

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They certainly look fantastic but...

This switch consists of 36 individual parts in both plastic and metal. Suffice to say, it is going to be expensive..

I'm afraid to find out just how expensive.... 'cause I really want them!

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Just now, legotownlinz said:

What's the reason for the open studs?

Maybe a way to nail the track down to the table?   It doesn't appear to have the screw holes found in the LEGO tracks. 

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Like most parts with open studs I suspect the reason is inside. They do open studs if they can't engineer the mold for the inside of the stud.

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I would suspect the open studs are there so a 1x3 tile may be used between the wheel guides.

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1 hour ago, davidzq said:

I would suspect the open studs are there so a 1x3 tile may be used between the wheel guides.

Makes sense, you're probably right.

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Good detective work guys!

I can confirm the open studs on the tie/sleeper in the middle of the switch is to allow for molding features on the bottom to mount a protective cover.  The open studs between the check rails are to allow for 1x3 tiles to be centre-mounted for decoration/ballasting.

The reference to 36 parts per switch includes items such as screws, and metal tabs used in multiple quantity.  In actual fact, each switch uses 18 unique parts in all.  Furthermore, 14 out of the 18 parts are shared between the left and right switch for efficiency.  My comment about being expensive was intended to reflect how expensive it is to Fx Bricks to manufacture not necessarily to the customer.  Having said that, I would rather set expectations higher rather than lower for retail price since this is a complex and precision engineered product.  We aim to make products at a level of quality similar to brands such as Fleischmann, Kato, Brawa, etc.  

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Posted (edited)

Regarding the switch radius, I'll repeat my explanation from the flickr post here:

Technically, the diverging route of this switch is not a perfect segment of a R104 circle. However it is very very close. In all likelihood, given the wide tolerances of Lego train track, you would be able to form a 90 deg turnout from the diverging route with 6x additional R104 curve tracks. There are a few reasons why the switch cannot be made with a diverging route as a plain R104 curve segment:

 

  1. The switches need to form a perfect crossover at 16-stud parallel centreline with the crossover point perfectly aligned to the Lego system 8 mm grid.  The diverging route centreline must be exactly 8 studs laterally offset from the straight route.
  2. The switches should be able to stack into a repeating yard ladder configuration with each siding aligned to 16-stud centres
  3. The diverging route of the switch is not a fixed radius curve. Rather, it is a spline curve computed as an optimal "transition" curve, i.e. a progressive radius to match constraints at each end. This is how real railway switches are designed as well.  

As it turns out, the diverging route is tantalizing close to a R104 curve, but not enough that we would label the product as a "R104 switch". If you look at how real railway (and some model train) switches are described, they rarely use "radius" in the terminology. Often they will use other more relevant attributes such as the length of switch or the angle of crossing frog/vee. We chose the nomenclature of P40x since it is short and sweet and concisely descriptive of what it really is (and is not).

Edited by michaelgale
Removed @user reference

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Really excited for these. They look great!

I'm intrigued by the thought of moving back to 9V. I was really sad when it was discontinued. I got some power functions stuff for the Emerald Night, but stopped building for a while. Now I see Lego's moved on to Powered Up. It'd be nice to have a non-rotating power option.

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Well here we are almost at the end of summer and nothing is available yet. Hoping to hear something in the coming days!

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I wouldn’t expect to see anything until 2021 to be honest. I could be wrong but it’s still a 6-8!week pre-order for the FX brick. It was 6-8 weeks even before Covid-19.

Will be interesting to see how this one pans out and I wish them all the best.

 

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I'm still waiting for a decent Android app for the Fx brick...

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That's nice but I don't have the skill or the time to build my own app...

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Just saw the update on the project posted yesterday with a lot of info updated.

  1. Set for production
    1. S32 (2) -Dec 2020
    2. R72 -Early 2021
  2. Next
    1. R88 -Q2 2021
    2. S8 (1/2) -Q2 2021
  3. Pending the funding to allow for early production
    1. R56
    2. S16 (1)
    3. R104/ R120

Along side that the P40 switch is out of the cost evaluation stage and they are committed to production but release schedule is dependent on performance of ^^

There was also info on the XL Speakers, button input integration, LDraw files, and better visuals for code scripting the bricks.

I'd assume the R64, S1.6 (1/10), and S3.2 (1/5) pieces will be in production when the switches move forward as to properly make switch ladders and turnouts. 

Also as a note I have no affiliation with them I'm just super hyped over the track system.

Here is the relevant blog post. https://www.fxbricks.com/fxblog/?post_id=40&title=fx-track-is-go--and-other-news

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Great news 🙂

I especially noticed the reference to a power pickup on the package....done right this can be a potential game changer imo.

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That is one of the things mentioned in the initial announcement for this project. Power pickups, motors, speed regulators, extension cables. So far they haven't said much in the way of anything besides the initial track releases. There was a post by @michaelgale around last New Years that mentioned a motor bogie.

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3 minutes ago, Andalo_an said:

That is one of the things mentioned in the initial announcement for this project. Power pickups, motors, speed regulators, extension cables. So far they haven't said much in the way of anything besides the initial track releases. There was a post by @michaelgale around last New Years that mentioned a motor bogie.

Before you need motors and controllers, you need track to run it on.  I think that is the thinking behind the order of products.  Hopefully if demand is good for the initial runs of track, motors and controllers will follow "soon".

Sal
WFB, WI

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Posted (edited)

Great news.

R27 is mentioned - that seems tight? Is it for something special?

edit: typo, I think they mean r72

Edited by cptkent
Doh

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5 minutes ago, cptkent said:

Great news.

R27 is mentioned - that seems tight? Is it for something special?

Our product release plan is as follows:

1. S32 straight track - available Dec 2020

2. R27 curve track - available early 2021

...

 

Maybe it is for trolleys?  :classic:

 

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Excellent to see the progress, but...

R72? That is not a radii to lead with. You have one segment that wants R56 so they can go one larger, and you have another segment who are now building to a R104/R120 standard, e.g., the LGMS stipulates,"The minimum radius for curved track on a mainline module shall be R104."

Sure, you can't get injection molded R72 and R88 curves since ME went under, but that is probably because there is a lot less demand for those radii.

I love that improved 9v track is coming and R88 is big enough to get my attention (especially since it would work with R104 if it ever comes), but I'm more interested in R104 and larger. If R72/88 is as far as the project ever goes then I would eventually buy in for R72, but not while there is promise of larger radius... and that's the problem, their milestone of success and my desires are not in line. I don't know, maybe I'd do R72 just to give my 2c to keep the project going.

 

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